Greetings new poster, and welcome to BCB! I will be your guide to the bewildering mazes of commentary that are the BCB Game Threads. Sit back, relax, and be sure to keep all limbs inside the bus at all times; otherwise, you may need to disinfect afterward.
Bleed Cubbie Blue is known for its passionate, knowledgeable Chicago Cubs fans. It is an atmosphere which welcomes everyone's contribution to the discussion. In most threads, if you have an opinion, let it be known! It is sure to be greeted with lively debate. The Game Threads differ slightly, mostly because there's a game going on. Think of them as an extension of your local sports bar, only filled with Cubs fans. If your local sports bar is already filled with Cubs fans, you will feel right at home.
As a new poster, you may be concerned with some of the more spirited debate which occurs during a Game Thread. It may appear as though one poster is being unnecessarily harsh to another. Typically, this is friendly banter between two posters who know or are secretly dating each other (like dtpollitt n SWL) - pay it no mind. Other times, it may appear as though two posters are deliberately trying to find the most awful thing about the game so far, in a sort of "I'm more depressed than you could ever be" schwanz-size war. Pay these posters no mind, either; they are merely unhappy at the way the team is playing today, even if the Cubs are up by seven runs in the ninth.
Instead, try to see the general mood of the game and the thread at that time. Concentrate on the ebb and flow of the comments from everyone participating. Once you have discerned the general mood, jump right in! The Game Threads are there for quick-hit opinion and commentary, and the more people who join in, the better the commentary gets. At first, try to comment on the action as it's happening. You will do yourself no favors writing 500 words on a topic of great importance to you if Rizzo has just hit a three-run HR. Likewise, try to keep up. If Russell was 3-for-3 with 5 RBIs previous to popping up to end the inning with the bases loaded in a tie game, you probably shouldn't celebrate his great bat at that time. Again, think of it as a sports bar, only filled with (mostly) sober Cubs fans.
Digressions from talking about the game happen all the time - it's the Internet, after all! Where would we be without our image macros, recipes, Harry Potter conversations, and borderline pornography? Again, this is like your local sports bar. The regulars there talk about stuff other than the game occasionally, and so do the Game Thread participants. If you would like to contribute to one of these sub-threads, having expert-level knowledge of the topic at hand is not strictly necessary, but it is encouraged.
A few words about the general structure of Game Threads on BCB: the witches and alchemists at SBNation have figured out a way to make the conversations update themselves without manual intervention. Unfortunately, we have not yet achieved the Singularity, so a thread will slow down and become unresponsive after a large number of comments (or inane cat pictures) have been posted. To alleviate that, each regular season game has at least six threads that are posted in succession. The Preview thread is usually posted ~2 hours before the first pitch, and contains discussion regarding the upcoming game. The First Pitch Thread (FPT) is posted 5-15 minutes before the first pitch and will contain game discussion. Three Overflow Threads are posted (usually) at these intervals: one hour after FPT, two hours after FPT, and 2:45 after FPT. There are many ways to find the most current Game Thread, including the Game Threads section of the site.
When a new thread is available, a kind-hearted poster will post a Jump Link to it. These may be hidden in cryptic pictures which embody the idea of jumping, as these warm, generous posters are very clever and/or perverted. Simply clicking the picture will take you to the next thread. Please see the general shortcuts for thread navigation (Z, X, C, Shift-A, etc) at the top of each thread. After the game ends, Al will post a Recap thread, where posters provide detailed analysis of the last game played.
A few words about optimism and pessimism: Optimists are called Kool-aid Drinkers and pessimists are called Ledge Jumpers. Both types call themselves Realists. You are one or the other, and there is no middle ground. Get used to it.
And if you ever find yourself wondering what a Game Thread's mood is, simply check the inning and score and consult the chart below.
|Very tense, argumentative
NB: Who is holding the lead rarely matters.
So if you are ready for a whole new way to experience live Cubs games, join our knowledgeable, (mostly) sober posters in a Game Thread soon!